Irene McCarthy believes her decision to move to The Maple Residences was one of the best choices she ever made.
After experiencing a health issue Irene realized she could no longer maintain her adored home or garden and in 2012 took the advice of a trusted professional to scout out local independent living seniors’ residences.
Irene toured a few residences but it was when she discovered the recently opened Maples complex in the heart of Steveston village that she knew she had found her new home. She moved in when there were only 45 residents and has witnessed the residence fill to 164 residents.
Irene says, “July 4, 2012 was my independence day. That was the day I moved into The Maples.”
The attractive five-storey building is located on the former site of the historic Japanese Fishermen’s Hospital, which was the first hospital to be built in Richmond in 1900.
Eileen Campbell, assistant manager at The Maple Residences, says, “A few of the residents were born in the Fishermen’s Hospital and have come full circle.”
Each suite in the 144-unit residence includes a balcony. Admired by many is Irene’s contribution of beautiful raised flowerbeds in the courtyard garden. She is a go getter and is a very active member of her community; she is on the food, gardening and welcoming committees.
While she entered the independent living residence single she has found a partner and says it is not uncommon for love stories to unfold at the residence. She and Len Rigg enjoy going on cruises together and can frequently be seen zipping about the village and along the local dyke trails on their motorized scooters. She says with a smile, “I found the most handsome man at The Maples!”
Irene mentions the location couldn’t be more desirable. Situated on No. 1 Road and Chatham Street, The Maple Residences overlooks Steveston Park. It is conveniently close to the library and community centre and Steveston’s shops are literally on the doorstep.
Along with other residents and staff Irene proudly represents The Maples at the Steveston Salmon Festival Canada Day parade. She says, “I had never been in a parade before. It is so much fun to see people waving and to see the excitement when we throw candy into the crowd.” She laughs when she refers to the length of the parade and points out,” I have to charge my scooter’s battery fully that day!”
Tucker Goodwin is a 56-year Richmond resident. He and his wife Betty are relative newcomers to The Maples where they have resided for one and a half years. Tucker admits that letting go of his home was challenging however, he says, “If I have to be somewhere, this is the place to be.”
Like Irene, health issues prompted the couple to make the decision to downsize; they opted to make a progressive move to independent seniors living.
The Goodwins appreciate the freedom independent living offers them. They no longer have to care for a house or property and maintenance; light housekeeping and meals are included in their monthly lease.
Tucker mentions that he and Betty normally enjoy a private breakfast in their apartment, and join the other residents at lunch and dinner in the full service dining room. If they choose to go away on a holiday all they have to do is lock their door and off they go.
He advises, “Don’t make any rash decisions about furniture until you move in.” For example, the guest pull out sofa bed he and Betty purchased is under utilized, as The Maples contains a guest suite for family to enjoy.
With a twinkle in his eye Tucker says he enjoys happy hour held twice weekly where he joins other residents for a beer. He is also very active outside of the residence and participates both in a barbershop chorus and church choir.
“Participation is important. It gives you an opportunity to meet people.” Tucker Goodwin
After meeting Tucker the sweet sound of piano melodies could be heard drifting from a nearby lounge. Eileen reports, “Tucker is a talented pianist and delights residents with performances on the baby grand piano.”
Each month there is a full slate of entertainment and recreation programming. The choice is up to the residents, they can choose to participate as much or as little as they like.
A small sampling of recent programs includes ballroom dance lessons, sign language class, visits from entertainers and school groups, painting lessons and an in house performance by the Vancouver Chamber Music Society.
The facility features a fitness room, hair salon, craft room, library, pool table, and many quiet spaces to sit throughout the building. Yoga, Tai Chi, back and balance and Theraband classes are offered seven days a week with a qualified instructor.
Both Irene and Tucker are impressed with The Maple Residences’ staff. Tucker says, “They are a great bunch and a lot of fun.”
Eileen concludes, “To say that I am proud to be part of the management team at the Maples is an understatement. What has been created here is unique. It’s warm and friendly as you would expect but the vibrancy of the residents is what stands out for me. Interesting people from all walks of life live here and they all have a story. Walking into the Maples is a walk into the future and it’s ok; we’re safe, happy and having a good time.”
The Maple Residences
4071 Chatham Street
Richmond, BC V7E 2Z7